Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network topology that meets your specific business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sound security plan, streamline system management and monitoring, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you realize the most business value from your investment in your network.
The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent computing trends whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:
- Cloud computing and a consequent demand for intensive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling HD video apps
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of network virtualization. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy use. However this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources must accommodate large amounts of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine enormous and varied silos of information, which as a result generates Big Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a critical need for an advanced generation of switches that offer significantly higher capacity, control, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were engineered to provide.
Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing consistent performance, secure client access control, careful segregation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the need for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps for each switch and double that for each system, a comprehensive collection of tools including EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data prioritization.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes
Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to build smart switching and routing features into their network architecture, deploying an environment that can deal with real-time requirements, scale to accommodate future growth, protect vital data, and separate and manage processes to enhance network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These low-profile switches include 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free design for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line by delivering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single device managed by a single operating system. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink ports, and capacity for up to 9 switches per FlexStack stack. All models offer modular QoS, stateful failover for high uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.
Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution and advanced QoS features for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking throughput of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connections, advanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where space for networking hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from one another. EVN simplifies the process of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on IOS XE. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless traffic for world-quality high availability.
Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports can be added via another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analysis, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that incorporate the proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and which have been steadily improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your technology investment and enables you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or IT team re-education.
Shared features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized administration to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS technology for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support client roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to segment distinct client groups and serve the special security and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise backbone networks that require maximum availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models come with three to 13 slots and work with a broad selection of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE access ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40GE connections.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps throughput and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10GE ports or 40 40GE ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and on-premises support expertise for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These legacy switches usually are more expensive to manage and maintain than current models, provide lower performance and functionality, and in some situations can expose businesses to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent are available to help your business to maintain and troubleshoot these legacy Cisco products and can in addition assist you to plan and carry out non-disruptive migrations to newer models within the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family of Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are intended for organizations with up to 250 employees and deliver the dependability, security, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network devices such as VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.
Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of backup power with auto switch-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong security against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup networking for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of switches are small, entry-level switches featuring eight Ethernet connections and one built-in Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped locations like on a user's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Available versions feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against address interception and other threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or branch-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key applications such a Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent services including quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional LAN switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 family switch is equipped with a robust set of capabilities that permit network scalability and enhanced availability through IP routing plus a complete complement of STP enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load sharing on backup links to take advantage of the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.
Important protocols including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves the efficiency of system resource use; and VRFLite protects network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series eases deployment of converged applications and accommodates changing business needs by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and automatic set up of smart system services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit deployments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size networks.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of high-end features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. Cisco StackWise technology combines as many as 9 separate switches into a single logical device, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is managed by a control switch, chosen from one of the member switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A running stack can accept new devices or remove old switches with no operational discontinuity.
How Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services available from Progent for Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and network security testing and remediation.
Progent has deep knowledge of open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also have deep knowledge of crucial technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your network security policies.
If you require ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
To see additional information concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco products, select a topic:
To contact Progent about professional help for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.